Over the holiday weekend, BuzzFeed news reporter Rachel Zarrell decided to post a photo on all her social media feeds of a very unusual-looking animal.
She found said photo of the as-of-yet unidentified animal on Instagram and proceeded to put it up on her various social media feeds to get some answers as to what it was. Her question was simple enough — “what in the living hell is this creature?” But alas, there are no simple answers once such a question is in the hands of the unbridled Internet hive mind.
It also didn’t help/hurt that Zarrell has over 11,000 Twitter followers who were all probably looking for a distraction over National Hangover Weekend. That and the fact that everyone loves a good seemingly unsolvable mystery. Here are some of our favorite answers:
Of course, people began referring to the strange little guy as the first “the dress” of 2016. However, because Zarrell is a reporter by trade, she didn’t just leave the question out there for the masses to tear apart. She did her own digging and found an answer for us.
A Reddit user named TheRedFoxx had posted the image six days ago with the caption “Somebody brought this bear into doggie day care.” Zarrell emailed the poster, and he told her that the owner said the animal was a Pomeranian mix. BuzzFeed did end up getting in touch with the owner, an Elizabeth Maguyon from Georgia, who confirmed her little pet was indeed a Pomeranian mix named Bounce. She sent more pictures to Zarrell to prove it. The photo had been taken at The Dog Spot in Nashville, where Maguyon occasionally boards Bounce.
As to how the photo ended up in Zarrell’s hands, Maguyon said, “I had texted the one photo to several friends, jokingly saying she was a bear. One friend, Lanier Basenberg, shared the photo to Reddit… and it just took off from there!”
So the moral of the story is, friends, if you take a picture of a weird-looking animal, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with people who have a social media following, and you may just become Internet famous, at least for a day.